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MPs demand compensation over cattle raids

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7- Lawmakers from Northern Kenya have given the government a seven- day ultimatum to ensure that the people of Isiolo are compensated for lives and livestock lost through cattle rustling, following the latest incident in which seven people were killed.

The MPs who addressed the media at Parliament Buildings following the reported deaths in Isiolo County after an early Wednesday morning raid in Merti, criticised the government for what they termed as ‘laxity’ in dealing with the issue that has plagued the province.

“As much as we want to encourage our constituents to be law abiding, we cannot continue to complain to a government that does not hear, see and the one that does not sense and appreciate the sanctity of human life,” Wajir West MP Adan Keynan said.

“Over the last two months this is the sixth incident. All the time we have reported these cases to the Minister for Internal Security we are promised action will be taken and nothing seems to be happening,” added the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations.

“These perpetrators are known by the intelligence and by the police… why are they not being arrested? We are therefore giving the government an ultimatum for seven days to return our animals, to compensate those who have lost animals, the lives lost and to guarantee the security of our people who are already ravaged by drought or we will tell our people to defend themselves,” charged Mr Keynan.

He said that the level of frustrations of the people had risen due to the failure by the government to guarantee their security.

Isiolo South MP Abdul Bahari Ali condemned the incident and called on the government to disarm the Samburu community to create parity with the neighbouring communities.

Mr Bahari accused criminal elements from the Samburu community of continuously perpetuating the attacks and called on the government to take stern action against them.

“We cannot accuse the Samburu community as a whole. Criminal responsibility is personal; we want the government to move with speed to ensure that the Samburu are disarmed. Unless this is done I am afraid that this conflict will escalate into a big battle never seen before,” he warned.

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Mr Bahari called on the government to beef up the teams tracking the stolen livestock as previous teams have been unable to recover the livestock once the bandits reach the Wamba hills area.

“We feel that security teams are incapable of mounting an efficient operation as they have only recovered 14 out of the one thousand animals stolen on August 30,” he added.

Other MPs who attended the press conference were Aden Duale of Dujis, Jeremiah Kioni of Ndaragwa, Mohamed Hussein Ali of Mandera East and Nuh Abdi from Bura.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere flew to Isiolo following the killing of seven herders in a cattle rustling attack in Merti.

Tension remained high in the area as relatives buried the victims. Police have launched a massive hunt for the attackers and the stolen livestock.


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